KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Raven Women's Cross Country team was edged out of a three-peat on Saturday by one point as they came in second to Heart Champion MNU while the Raven Men placed fifth.
Benzing finished the course in a time of 17:48.5 to take the individual championship while the second-place finish for the team also earns them a return trip to the NAIA Women's Cross Country National Championships.
The top finish for Benzing marked the third straight season that a member of the Raven Women's program had won the individual championship. Benzing was joined in the top five by Lucy Leighton (3rd, 18:21.91) and Elise Buchman (5th, 18:28.19).
In all, 113 runners competed in the race among the 14 teams from the conference.
Barnes completed the course in a time of 26:39.17 to earn his berth into Nationals. John Danner placed 31st, Phil Davis placed 34th, Andrew Doyle placed 36th, Joseph Lynch placed 38th, Alexandreu Hammeke placed 46th and Andrew Kaiser placed 48th to round out the Raven Men scoring points.
For their efforts finishing inside the top 10, Benzing, Leighton, Buchman and Barnes were also awarded All-Conference honors.
The 60th annual NAIA Men's Cross Country Championships and the 36th annual NAIA Women's Cross Country Championships will be held on Nov. 19 in Elsah, Ill. at North Farm Cross Country Course.